Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar (born 24 April 1973) is a former Indian cricketer and captain, widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time. He took up cricket at the age of eleven, made his Test debut at the age of sixteen.
He is revered as “the God” of cricket by his fans, he has inspired most of us as a batsman and as a person.
There are very few who can be so calm, down to earth and have no attitude whatsoever after 24 years of successful international cricket.
Sachin is special and different, being an inspiration for millions for various reasons. He gave following lessons to the world.
No shortcut to success.
In his childhood, Tendulkar would practice for hours in the nets. From 7 am to 10 am, he would practice at the nets. From 10 am to 4 pm, he would play a match, and for the last two hours he had again practice under the watchful eye of his coach Ramakant Achrekar sir.
If he became exhausted, Achrekar would put a one-rupee coin on the top of the stumps, and the bowler who dismiss Tendulkar would get the coin. If Tendulkar passed the whole session without getting dismissed, the coach would give him the coin, he won 13 coins in all.
In a fast-paced world you can get by with slow-paced values
He has spent more than 2 decades on the field, but has not involved himself in any controversy (he was cleared in the ball tampering case). That takes a lot of self-restrain, control and strength. One must have perfect control over oneself to resist temptations.
Change with time for good
At 16 he started his international cricket career and was exceptional, facing one of the best pace bowling attacks in Pakistan with the likes of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. Tendulkar was never a self-perpetuating batsman, he used to take risks and loved playing his cricket that way.
However, he would sometimes get out in crucial situations due to careless strokes and would come in for flak for lack of concentration. The most important point about Sachin is he changed his batting according to the conditions and situations.
When he was young he was attacking and when he became a senior member in the team he reduced his aggression for the team which helped youngsters build their innings around him.
It is possible to be big and small at the same time.
Tendulkar received the Arjuna Award in 1994 for his outstanding sporting achievement, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 1997, India’s highest sporting honour, and the Padma Shri and Padma Vibhushan awards in 1999 and 2008, respectively, India’s fourth and second highest civilian awards.
He is awarded with Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award. He is the youngest recipient to date and the first ever sportsperson to receive the award. He also won the 2010 Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for cricketer of the year at the ICC awards. In 2012, Tendulkar was nominated to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament of India.
He was also the first sportsperson and the first person without an aviation background to be awarded the honorary rank of group captain by the Indian Air Force. In 2012, he was named an Honorary Member of the Order of Australia.
Even after he became the greatest batsman in the world, and had millions of people cheering and clapping and chanting his name every time he came to bat, Sachin still considers the 13 coins he won from his coach during those childhood cricket sessions as his most prized possession.
Determination & Passion
The most important reason for Sachin’s success for all these years was his preparation for a match which was amazing. His preparation was no different when he was playing a Ranji Trophy match or a Test match. His preparation never guaranteed the result, but his determination to perform well never waned.
During practice in his childhood, out of 31 days in a month, he used to play about 28 to 29 matches. There were no family functions attended, no festivals celebrated, even birthdays were forgotten. Personal things took a back seat. It was just about cricket, cricket and more cricket. The routine was practice in the morning, then a match from 10 am to 4 pm, practice again from 4.30 pm to 7 pm, every day.
Sometimes Sachin used to bat till lunch time at Dadar, and then Achrekar sir would put him on the back seat of his scooter and take him to nearby places. He used to make him bat after lunch over there and then get him back in time for 4 pm practice at Dadar. That’s the kind of passion he had.
Money is not everything in life
Good carrier and earnings are two different things, in 1987 (still two years away from a Test debut), when Tendulkar was offered a bat endorsement deal, his father politely refused, saying that “it might affect his performance”.
If a person plays as long as 24 years he is supposed to create lot of records and Sachin did it, but Sachin is a common man with love and passion towards cricket with an extremely hard-working nature to achieve his dream of playing for his nation.
There is a saying “A tree laden with fruits always bends low. Humility is a sign of greatness.” Never found a better example than Sachin for this adage.
Humility came from the training. He was taught from the beginning that the game is bigger than anybody, no matter who you are. You should never insult the game.
He was brought up with line by Achrekar sir. “Anything you do wrong on the ground, you will have to pay for it. If you ever started feeling pompous, you just had to look over your shoulder and there you’d see someone as good as you or even better”
He wanted to be a fast bowler. But, the great Australian fast bowler, Dennis Lillee was not impressed with his bowling and he advised him to concentrate on his batting and he turned out to be one of the greatest batsmen of all times.
He served as a ball boy in Cricket world cup of 1987, but was on the shoulders of his teary eyed teammates after the win of the Cricket world cup in 2011.
Be a Role Model
Sachin is an inspiration for all the youngsters to grow up and develop as a cricketer. He was an example for what could a person become with passion and hard work. He displays all the qualities that a master should posses, in fact he defines ‘master’.
He has perseverance, hard-work, dedication, commitment, respect, humbleness. He tells us what belief and dreams can do. His story can fire our imagination, pull us from the deepest of the pits. He has been there, done that.
Few words about Sachin by famous cricketers
“I’ll be going to bed having nightmares of Sachin just running down the wicket and belting me back over the head for six. He was unstoppable. I don’t think anyone, apart from Don Bradman, is in the same class as Sachin Tendulkar”
“I have seen God, he bats at no. 4 for India”
“We did not lose to a team called India…we lost to a man called Sachin”
“There will never be another Sachin Tendulkar”
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